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Space Technology

Space technology is an extremely important research and development area of IDR/UPM.
IDR/UPM developed a payload of liquid bridges (CPLM) for the Spanish TV MINISAT 01 and has joined different European projects, such as the FIRE project, which is funded by the European Union. IDR/UPM also participates in the development of the OSIRIS instrument, which is on board of the ROSETTA from the European Space Agency. The purpose of OSIRIS is the exploration of a comet nucleus. Initiatives such as UPMSat, SO-PHI, SUNRISE and EXOMARS should also be mentioned as an example of the work carried out by IDR/UPM in Space Technology.
In addition the university has also developed the manual of spacecraft thermal control of the European Space Agency: Spacecraft Thermal Control Design Data (STCDD, ESA PSS 03-108). Recently newer editions of related texts about spacecrafts thermal control have been published:
J. Meseguer, I. Pérez-Grande & A. Sanz-Andrés, Spacecraft Thermal Control (2013)
J. Meseguer, I. Peréz-Grande, A. Sanz-Andrés & G. Alonso, Chapter 13: Thermal Systems, en The International Handbook of Space Technology (2014)


The study of the liquid bridges behaviour in low gravity is an important space investigation field started by Professor Ignacio Da Riva in 1975. The liquid bridge study investigates the fluid configuration between two solid disks formed by a liquid mass maintained by surface tension.
In the theoretical and experimental liquid bridges research program, numerous contributions have been published in specialized scientific literature. Moreover, it should be pointed out the work done in relation with liquid bridges experiments performed in the space labour Spacelab as well as in sounding rockets like TEXUS and parabolic flights in aircrafts. In addition to its strong scientific projection, a technological aspect should be highlighted, as it has been involved in the definition and design of instruments used for experimentation in flights. In particular, an experimentation module for ESA with liquid bridges in simulated microgravity by neutral buoyancy technique was developed in 1990. This module has been used by the Space Agency for training astronauts in missions since then.
Liquid Bridge Experimentation on Earth under Microgravity Conditions